back to article Amazon to dig DEEPER into YOUR shopping habit BRAIN with targeted ads system

Amazon is reportedly expanding its own in-house ads system in a move for the online retail giant to compete with Google. According to the Wall Street Journal, which cites people familiar with the matter, the company is developing software that is eventually expected to unseat Google's ad placement platform on its own service …

  1. Mint Sauce

    Hope it's more intelligent than their current recommendation system. "Hey! You bought a toaster! Here are 57 more toasters that you might be interested in!"

    1. VinceH

      Yeah... and the same with DVDs: Buy a particular film, and see different editions (or formats) of the same film appear in your recommendations.

      Of course, part of the problem with DVDs is that different editions/formats are catalogued separately. Wouldn't it be nice if, when you searched for a particular film, the search results page didn't list each version of the film separately, then the close or related matches in the same way - but instead, the first result was just the film you searched for, then each subsequent result was just one result for each individual film Amazon considers a close/related match.

      Click on the page for the film, and there it can list different editions in the catalogue.

      Note that if you visit the page for a version of a DVD you've already bought, it tells you at the top you bought this item on such and such a date. By listing DVDs in the way above, it could say you bought "such and such a version of this film on such and such a date".

      Under the current system, if you've bought "Popcorn Blockbuster 3: The Sequel's Sequel - Ultimate Edition" and you forget, you could find yourself on the page for "Popcorn Blockbuster 3: The Sequel's Sequel - Final Ultimate (We Really Mean It Until The Next One) Edition" and buy it again.

      If the underlying database is per film, and the editions are listed under that, the problem goes away. Indeed, if Amazon did it like that, I'd quite happily tell them what films I've already bought from elsewhere. Sure, they'd be more than happy for me to buy the same sodding film twice, but they'd be providing a better customer experience, and in return for that I'll happily give them more data to make better recommendations to me, and therefore encourage me to spend more.

      And while they're at it, including an IMDB link for each film as well would be useful.

    2. Nuke

      @Mint Sauce

      Wrote :- "You bought a toaster! Here are 57 more toasters that you might be interested in!

      That is because they know that the one they just sold you is crap.

      1. John Tserkezis

        Re: @Mint Sauce

        "That is because they know that the one they just sold you is crap."

        Funny you should say that. I steered away from one high quality part that would have cost $50 + delivery, to go for a $32 box of 100 cheap chinese nasties.

        If I replace one every 3 months broken or not (and it'll last at least that long), the box will probably outlive me.

    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      Or "hey, you bought an inkjet cartridge, here is a printer to put it in"

    4. Fungus Bob

      Re: Hey! You bought a toaster!

      I dunno, might work for other things - "Hey! You just got married! Here are a bunch of other guys' wives you might be interested in!"

      What could possibly go wrong?

  2. Spanners Silver badge

    Annoying me is bad for your business

    Any company that sends me annoying and unwanted screen pollution does not get my trade.

    They also get bad reports to anyone who asks for my opinion. Word of mouth is as important now as it ever was.

  3. publius

    Follow the money

    Amazon has (have) data on people who have been "persuaded" to part with their money. Google has (have) data only on people who are thinking about spending their money. The marketeers (and their money) are aimed squarely at the former. Profit for Amazon.

    Amazon has a way of sticking in your face - you click the "buy it now"TM button, and they then pop up a screen full of products that others thought were clearly better that yours. Crap! It's too late. Well, not really, but by the time you investigate the other products, your 30 minutes is up and it's too late to cancel!

    (OK, I'm slow, and I have a satellite connection -YMMV).

  4. Grey Bird

    Personally, I think they should have something in your profile where you can specify if you have a gaming console and what kind, and if you have a Blu-ray player or just a DVD player and what format you'd like the suggested discs to be if you have a Blu-ray player. It doesn't make sense to me to suggest a bunch of movies in Blu-ray if you don't have one, or to keep suggesting XBox games of you don't have an XBox. I definitely agree with VinceH that suggesting different formats of the same movie as if they were completely unrelated makes no sense, and they should just suggest the movie and let you pick what format after you've evidenced interest.

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